Benedict XVI Leaves the Society of St. Pius X Case to His Successor

Source: FSSPX News

On February 21, 2013, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, declared: “Given the extraordinary circumstances (Benedict XVI’s resignation, ed.), the dispositions relative to the reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X will be confided to the next pope.” And he invited journalists not to expect a conclusion “in the upcoming days”, for the case is henceforth “under the responsibility of the next pope.” 

Fr. Lombardi thus put an end to the many rumors and speculations in the press. A few days before, the French newspaper La Croix  had reported that a letter from Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Archbishop Augustine Di Noia (on the picture), respectively president and vice-president of the commission Ecclesia Dei, on January 8, asked Bishop Bernard Fellay to answer the doctrinal preamble that had been submitted to him on June 13, 2012. This answer was to be received by Archbishop Müller no later than February 22.

Speaking of the doctrinal preamble’s requirements that the Society recognize Vatican II’s continuity with the former Magisterium, Fr. Franz Schmidberger, district superior of Germany and former superior general of the Society, maintained in an interview granted on September 18, 2012, to the German website pius.info: “There are incoherencies in Vatican Council II that cannot be denied. We cannot recognize this hermeneutic of continuity. I think that we will tell the roman authorities that we cannot easily accept (these requirements) and that they will have to abandon them if they really wish for a normalization. It became clear during the discussions that took place from October 2009, to April 2011, that there are very different points of view concerning Vatican Council II, certain texts of the Council, and the post-conciliar Magisterium. Everyone recognized that it would not be easy to come to an agreement between the views of the post-conciliar Magisterium and those that we uphold with the popes of the 19th century and the constant teachings of the Church. And I think that so long as these wounds are not treated with an adequate remedy, which would be to speak openly on these points that do not agree, there will be no real solution for the crisis in the Church.”

In an interview granted to the French website Nouvelles de France on February 15, Bishop Fellay declared: “For a moment, I thought that, with his resignation, Benedict XVI would perhaps make a final gesture in our favor as Pope. That being said, I have a hard time seeing how he could do so. We will probably have to wait for the next Pope. I will even go so far as to say, at the risk of surprising you, that the Church has more important problems than the Society of St. Pius X, and in a way, it is by resolving these problems that the problem of the Society will be solved.”